The School Newspaper of Lawrence High School.

The Budget

The School Newspaper of Lawrence High School.

The Budget

The School Newspaper of Lawrence High School.

The Budget

It’s not all about the muscle

Student athletes train their bodies as well as their minds in Ubuntu gym
Senior+Brooks+Jones+works+out+at+Ubuntu+gym%2C+coached+by+Kelly+Barah.+
Sama Abughalia
Senior Brooks Jones works out at Ubuntu gym, coached by Kelly Barah.

With many athletes at LHS excelling in different sports, the coaches aren’t always able to give players the personal attention they need to improve their abilities.

While both school gyms and practices can build teamwork and certain skills, they can lack specialized attention as well as not give some students the room to excel in their specific sport. For these students looking to reach their limits, many have looked outside of school to find a solution.

For many of those student-athletes, coach Kelly Barah of Ubuntu Performance Training is that solution. With the undivided attention of Barah, students can truly tap into their potential.

Senior Gunnar Wayenberg noted the differences he sees in Barah and his more individualistic style.

“He’s more down to a personal level and he’s not just like some coaches who are more worried about their sport,” Wayenberg said. “He’s a coach for all and he cares about everyone improving. It’s not about your weight or how much you do, he’s really just there to make sure that you as a person are getting better and more athletic, and he really cares that you’re doing it right.”

Senior Brooks Jones also discussed Barah’s commitment in contrast with the coaches of teams.

“He’s not one of the coaches who just sits on his phone. He’s someone who pays attention and stays focused with the group and makes sure everything works,” Jones said.

Barah further explains his distinctive approach toward coaching.

“Our key philosophy is all about ‘ubuntu,’ the idea that I can only be the best I can be if we are all getting better,” Barah said.

Students who work with Barah receive more attention and improve more compared to other athletes, but have also reaped the rewards of rapid improvements compared to other athletes.

“I feel a lot stronger, my form has gotten better, I’m hitting the golf ball farther, and I’m overall just feeling healthier,” Wayenberg said.

Senior Brecken Ostronic spoke about the effects Barah has had on the mental aspect of sports, rather than the physical.

“The most important lesson he taught me had nothing to do with sports. Barah teaches hard work, he teaches dedication, and he teaches you how to be the best version of yourself,” Ostronic said.

In addition to student athletes seeing differences between coaches, many have noted the contrast in the attention they have received when it comes to the coaching.

“You can do your own stuff, really,” Jones said. “With a team you’re doing things all together, but with Barah he’s making sure you’re getting everything right. Whatever sport you play, he’s going to make sure you’re doing your workouts for that.”

This increased amount of attention on specifics can lead to better feedback for student athletes.

“He doesn’t just say that you’re doing something wrong, he actually explains why, and why he’s having you do these things in that way,” Wayenberg said. “It’s awesome to have that personal connection and what comes from it.”

Overall, Barah is more than happy to help student athletes improve their skills.

“The ability to harness whatever emotions one might have at the beginning of a session together with everyone’s support and channel those towards a set goal for the day helps everyone contextualize the session for themself,” Barah said. “The ability to do so helps many set so many more records during a given session or at the very least helps others maintain what they have been able to do during previous sessions, so there isn’t this yo-yoing effect in anyone’s progress.”

Leave a Comment
About the Contributors
Caleb Carver, Reporter
I'm a second-year reporter on the journalism staff. Outside of journalism, I love to bike, read, and study Spanish.
Sama Abughalia, The Budget Co-Editor in Chief
This is my third year on staff and my first year as an editor in chief. Although I’m really only trained as a photographer I hope I can learn new skills as a mediocre designer and possible a sub-par writer. I am very involved in school and spend most of my times attending events. I may not be able to help edit your story but I can definitely make a witty come-back when faced with an attitude.

Comments (0)

All The Budget Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest